With a 13% among teens, India sees a dramatic increase in myopia due to electronics
In 1980, the first PC came into existence and since then it has become an integral part of our lives. With time, we have also seen the birth of more and more digital devices like smartphones and tablets. Now it is almost impossible to imagine our lives without our phone or laptop. Although these were mainly intended for adults, but you will find almost every child owning a phone or tablet. Even toddlers have started using them as well.
However, the increase in the use of digital devices has also increased the number of myopia cases. This problem is more severe in India. With more than 300 million smartphone users, India is one of the biggest electronic markets in the world. And if you look at the stats, you will see that during this period the number of myopia cases have also doubled. As per All India Institute of Medical sciences, 13% of the school going population in India is myopic. This is a very high figure and is a serious cause of concern. If proper steps are not taken to address this issue, then it can lead to serious troubles in the future.
Several experiments have been conducted to prove that there is a direct relation between myopia and near work. For example, a meta analysis involving as many as 20000 Asian children was able to establish a direct link between myopia and hours of near work. However, there are also other studies which claims that myopia can also be related to IQ level and education level as well.
It may take some time to find more conclusive evidence on the effect of digital devices on refractive error development. But it is advisable that doctors warn their patients against the excess use of electronic devices for better long term ocular health.
Dry eye disease is also on the rise in India and many of the victims are teenagers or young adults. Dry eye diseases are generally caused because of aqueous deficiency, but it has been found that many cases of dry eye diseases is also because of meibomian gland dysfunction ( MGD).
Although there is no conclusive evidence between the use of digital devices and refractive error development, it has been proved beyond doubt that their usage leads to an increase in dry eye syndrome cases. Your blink frequency decreases because of the use of digital devices, which results in dry eyes. QurAdia is sponsoring a research which will be looking ways to reduce the syndrome.
Stories by Tim Salivan